Chemical Fume Hoods

The chemical fume hood is often the primary control device for protecting laboratory workers when working with flammable and/or toxic chemicals. OSHA’s laboratory standard (29 CFR 1910. 1450) requires that fume hoods be maintained and function properly when used.

Before using a fume hood:

  • Make sure that you understand how the hood works.\
  • You should be trained to use it properly.
  • Know the hazards of the chemical you are working with; refer to the chemical’s Safety Data Sheet if you are unsure.
  • Ensure that the hood is on.
  • Make sure that the sash is open to the proper operating level, which is usually indicated by arrows on the frame.
  • Make sure that the air gauge indicates that the airflow is within the required range.

When using a fume hood:

  • Never allow your head to enter the plane of the hood opening.
  • Use appropriate eye protection.
  • Be sure that nothing blocks the airflow through the baffles or through the baffle exhaust slots.
  • Elevate large equipment (e.g., a centrifuge) at least two inches off the base of the hood interior.
  • Keep all materials inside the hood at least six inches from the sash opening. When not working in the hood, close the sash.
  • Do not permanently store any chemical inside the hood.
  • Promptly report any hood that is not functioning properly. The sash should be closed and the hood tagged and taken out of service until repairs can be completed.
  • When using extremely hazardous chemicals, understand your laboratory’s action plan in case an emergency, such as a power failure occurs.
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